#42 Wake Forest Baseball 2020 Preview

Wake Forest Demon Deacons
Overall Rank: #42
Conference Rank: #9 ACC
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Wake Forest once again had a disappointing season in 2019. Many felt the Demon Deacons would easily make the tournament and even compete for an ACC title. But that did not happen and Coach Tom Walter’s squad finished with a 14-16 conference mark. The problem was on the mound where the team had a very rough 5.89 ERA. The hope is a year in the system will get the coaching staff and players on the same page, but players like Ryan Cusick and Jared Shuster have to turn into consistent pitchers or this year could be just as long and disappointing as last year.
2019: 31-26, 14-16
2019 Postseason: None
Coach: Tom Walter
Key Departed Players:
Patrick Frick, IF, .360 BA, 4 HR, 38 RBI
Bruce Steel, IF, .252 BA, 10 HR, 25 RBI
Colin Peluse, P, 5.74 ERA, 3-8 W/L, 80.0 IP, 71 SO
Key Returning Players:
Bobby Seymour, IF, .377 BA, 9 HR, 92 RBI
Chris Lanzilli, OF/IF, .347 BA, 16 HR, 67 RBI
Shane Muntz, C, .313 BA, 14 HR, 40 RBI
Michael Ludowig, OF, .300 BA, 3 HR, 30 RBI
Brendan Tinsman, C/OF, .265 BA, 10 HR, 41 RBI
Ryan Cusick, P, 6.44 ERA, 7-3 W/L, 65.2 IP, 55 SO
Jared Shuster, P, 6.49 ERA, 4-4 W/L, 68.0 IP, 94 SO
If the pitching staff can get on track, this could be a great year for Wake Forest though since their offense is absolutely explosive. The team ranked 12th in the country with 7.8 runs per game and most of the key pieces of the lineup are back for another go. Bobby Seymour is the reigning ACC Player of the Year after hitting .377 with nine homeruns and an amazing 92 RBIs. Fellow junior Chris Lanzilli joined Seymour on the All-ACC first-team after hitting .347 with 16 homeruns and 67 RBIs. Those two will give every pitcher in the ACC nightmares. And pitching around both of them is rarely an option as Shane Muntz, Michael Ludowig and Brendan Tinsman are more than capable of making any team pay. From top to bottom, this should be one of the most dangerous lineups in the nation. Wake Forest will win plenty of games with their bats, but it could be a special season if the pitching staff can improve. How much they improve will dictate just how good this season will be, but either way Wake Forest should put an end to their little two year NCAA Tournament drought.  
Projected Postseason: NCAA Baseball Tournament